Small business owners are among the most hard-hit by the pandemic that has consumed most of 2020. While SMEs have seen major growth in recent years and essentially have become the lifeblood of local scenes and economic stimulation, these are challenging times that have taken their toll on many a business. If you’re concerned about your own business and wondering what the next steps might be, it’s essential to note that there is still hope and that with the right strategy and mindset, you can weather the hardships brought on by COVID-19 across the world.
Adopt delivery services
It is a time when few people are going out, much less spending their time hanging around public spaces. It may be smart to make use of the technological advancements brought on by the digital age to cater to the broad market still out there and seeking the same goods and services from the safety of their own homes. A delivery company still sees a lot of activity precisely because so many citizens are regulated and unable to leave their abodes because of the lockdown. That makes them more likely to hop on the computer or check out their phone and start booking something.
That covers most industries that cater to the public since people want the safety and convenience of ordering online without sacrificing the reliability and transparency of their favourite brands and platforms. In particular, however, the food delivery segment has seen a significant growth aspect. We even see trends showing that platform-to-consumer numbers have grown while restaurant-to-consumer content has reached a plateau instead of its former lead.
Focus on products your audience is looking for
With a limited supply and a need to capture an already diminished audience during this time, it’s important to be astute with what the market’s demands are. Home in on opportunities that can make your business relevant during this time. If you have a way of focusing your marketing and resources on that product, you can cater to a lot of people in need of your goods or services while profiting enough to keep your business afloat.
Many businesses have had to switch their gears to adapt to this pandemic successfully. If you’re going to do the same, you don’t want to box yourself in. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll throw all your core branding and services to the side. It just means finding a hero product to shine a spotlight on so you have something to work as a buoy.
Think of the numerous restaurants that are now selling “cooking kits” so that people can make their favourite dish orders at home or those package delivery platforms that now offer food delivery services. You can use what resources and offers you already have and skew them into a more relevant product for your audience.
Maintain a skeleton crew on par with restrictions
With all of the regulations put into place for safety reasons, you can’t expect to run at the same full capacity as you did pre-pandemic. By this time, most businesses have already had to downscale. If you’re wondering how to keep this skeleton set-up manageable, the solution you’re looking for is upskilling. It allows your minimal team to efficiently continue operations without needing to expand the number of team members.
As long as you shoulder the training, this can be a good investment that is an attractive option for your staff since it adds useful capabilities to their arsenal and resume. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your existing crew and consider introducing new opportunities and skillsets for them. If you make them go beyond their initial purview, it may require a pay increase, but this may still be more manageable at the time than having lots of employees.
These may be uncertain times, but that is precisely why it is even more important to lay down some plans for the future. Include strategies, objectives, and back-up plans in the event of circumstances like the very one we all find ourselves in now. You’ll want to think about the continued resources you will need to pull from, whether it be the supplies you use or the financial pool you have. Balancing investments to keep the cash flowing is crucial, especially since you cannot let other business aspects like marketing go to the wayside.
It’s important to stay positive and keep hope alive. However, it should be noted that experts predict a slow burn that continues to shake the world and its norms well into 2021 (and possibly after depending on how governments respond). It’s best to consider these options now when thinking of keeping your business alive.